ABRAHAM KIZER. Among the old pioneers of Benton County, who, through their energy and perseverance, are enabled to pass the sunset of life in quiet retirement, are Mr. and Mrs. Kizer, of this notice, residing on section 11, Polk Township. He was born in Rockingham County, Va., Feb. 12, 1806, and is the son of Abraham and Catherine (Lamon) Kizer, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Maryland. The father died in Virginia. In 1814 our subject, accompanied by his mother and six other children, emigrated from Ohio, where they had lived several years, to Cedar County, in this State. The journey was made overland with wagons and teams, and they arrived here three years prior to the time that the Government placed the land in market. On arriving in Cedar County our subject entered a half-section of land, which he improved, and on which he continued to reside, engaged in the active labors of an agriculturist, for some years. He then sold out and removed to Scott County, where he purchased a farm of 500 acres and was engaged in farming and stock-raising for about fifteen years, meeting with success in the prosecution of his vocation. Again disposing of his property, he moved to Mt. Vernon, Linn County, that his children might be afforded better facilities for acquiring an education. He bought town property, and after residing there one year, disposed of his interests, and returned to Scott County, locating on 200 acres of land which he purchased. He continued to reside in this place for some three years, engaged in farming, and in the spring of 1869 came to this county and located where he now resides, on section 11, Polk Township. The same year he came here he erected a large two-story frame residence, at a cost of $1,800. It is beautifully surrounded by a fine grove, and he has in connection therewith good and substantial out-buildings.
Mr. Kizer was married, Aug. 30, 1829, to Margaret Lipsy, a native of Kentucky, and they have become the parents of nine children, five of whom are now living, namely: Nicholas who married Susanah Bardan, and resides in Missouri; Benjamin F. married Isabel Beckworth, and lives in Minnesota; L. D. married Catherine Kolp, and they reside in Polk Township; John married Martha Stevenson and is deceased; Catherine married Samuel Kelso, and they are living in Polk Township; Anthony married Matilda Ann Stevenson. Mr. and Mrs. Kizer are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics he is a stanch Republican.
The life of our subject has been one of labor and he has endured all the trials incident to the settlement of a new country. But he started with the determination to overcome all difficulties and obstacles, and his success in life is due to his own energy and perseverance, combined with the active cooperation of his good helpmeet. When he first came to this State the Indians were more numerous than the whites, but were friendly, and since he first began operations as an agriculturist here, he has been closely identified with the development of the county. He relates that on one occasion he started to mill, a distance of seventy miles, and after traveling all day he stopped at a little log cabin over night. The next morning, while harnessing his horses, he froze his fingers so badly that he concluded he would not continue the journey, and returned home, but in a few days, in company with another gentleman, he started again, to procure food for his wife and children. They shoveled their way through the snow, and at last reached the mill, but found many ahead of them and were compelled to wait their turn, the journey occupying seventeen days. During all this time his wife and children had not a crumb of bread at home, and his good wife said that to keep herself and children from starving she baked potatoes, and the children became so accustomed to eating them that they never asked for bread. Our subject took a lunch with him, which, however, gave out in a few days, and he chopped wood for the miller to pay for his board. Mrs. Kizer is now eighty years of age and does all her own work, even the washing. Very few women of her age could stand the amount of work she does. She has been a good and faithful helpmeet, and, in the days that are passed and gone, used to weave and work hand in hand with our subject, they having but one interest in common. Both our subject and his wife are hale and hearty, and respected and honored citizens, and be it said to their credit, that they have never wronged a fellow-being, nor have they ever turned a deaf ear to true charity.As being among the representative citizens of the county, the publishers of this Album are pleased to present the portraits of Mr. Kizer and wife in connection with this sketch.
Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies" [database online] Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <http://iagenweb.org/benton/>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 297-298.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on February 12th, 2009. Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.